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Frequently Asked Questions - How to use the USEtox model

The official USEtox model documentation can be found on this website under Model Documentation.

The official version of USEtox does not include particulate matter (PM) at the moment. Other atmospheric chemical fate models can better describe the fate of particulate matter in the air, including the formation of secondary particles from NH3, NOX, and SO2 emissions.

A state-of-the-art approach that is fully consistent with USEtox for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been developed as part of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative's work on Global LCIA Guidance and presents a set of human intake fractions to characterize human exposure to PM2.5 across several thousand cities, regions and continents (Fantke et al. 2017) as well as corresponding exposure-response relationships (Fantke et al. 2019) - both studies are available open access. A final set of consistent characterization factors for PM2.5 based on these studies will be available early 2021.

The current version of USEtox only models impacts in the freshwater environment, since at the time of developing USEtox mainly toxicity tests on freshwater species were available.

A recent global consensus building process (see Fantke et al. 2018) outlines the way forward for including marine aquatic and terrestrial soil impacts into USEtox in the near future and is already beeing tested in the recently developed global LCIA method LC-Impact as further described in Verones et al. (2020).